BEMIDJI -- The road to Augustana went through Indianapolis for Aaron Heger.
The Bemidji High School senior was pitching for the Minnesota Blizzard Elite Baseball Team at a September tournament in the Hoosier State, and he first started to catch the eye of college coaches.
Tusculum University (Tenn.) was the first program to reach out. Then came calls from St. Thomas, Minnesota Crookston, the University of Mary and Minnesota State.
But it was Augustana who eventually won him over. Heger then made things official by signing his National Letter of Intent on Nov. 11.
“Aaron flew under the radar a bit this summer,” Vikings head coach Tim Huber said. “He has seen his velocity climb the past couple months, which is a testament to his commitment to training. He is a big guy with a good frame and we expect to continue climbing with his already mid-to-upper 80's velocity. Aaron is a strike thrower and has the ability to throw his off speed and fastball equally consistent in the zone. He is also very invested in the training process.”
Like all of his peers, Heger missed out on the high school baseball season in the spring of 2020. But over the summer, Heger threw 13.1 innings for the Centaurs’ 18U summer baseball team, striking out 15 while posting a 5.78 ERA for a 2-1 record. He also had a .472 batting average, a .553 on-base percentage and a .722 slugging percentage -- all team-highs -- with 17 RBIs over 13 games.
“He is one of the most knowledgeable guys we have recruited,” Huber said, “and (he) knows what has worked well for him in training and is aware of what development can and should look like. We know Aaron will be a great fit at Augustana academically with a 4.0+ GPA as well.”
Augustana went 9-4 in 2020 before the season shut down early due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Vikings posted a 43-16 record in 2019 and, in 2018, they went 52-9 en route to the Division II national championship.